Talking to The New York Times. Why you should share your research with the media and how to get them interested

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1 Talking to The New York Times Why you should share your research with the media and how to get them interested

2 Objectives Understand the importance of using the media to disseminate public health messages Determine which research findings are newsworthy Create and communicate talking points for media interviews Track success of media outreach efforts Moderator: Kristin Roberts, Project Director

3 Center for Injury Research and Policy

4 Today s speakers Dawn Comstock Lara McKenzie Tracy Mehan Principal Investigator Center for Injury Research and Policy Principal Investigator Center for Injury Research and Policy Manager of Translational Research Center for Injury Research and Policy

5 Why Talking to the Media is Important

6 Why Talking to the Media is Important Benefits to the public Reach a broader audience Free PSA (public service announcement) Impact can be greater and quicker Benefits to the researcher Position yourself as the go to person Possibly increase ability to obtain funding Get to be a good citizen

7 Public Benefit Reach a Broader Audience The general public doesn t read scientific journals One NY Times, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, or NPR piece will reach more people than any JAMA manuscript The general public doesn t understand statistics Translate your research (health literacy) for the lay population

8 Public Benefit Reach a Broader Audience The general public likes to trust those experts they see and hear in the mass media Most recognized docs - Phil, Gupta, Welby/Brennan Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields debate postpartum depression!

9 Public Benefit PSA/Impact PSAs cost a lot of money media coverage is free You get to craft your educational message Control the message not always easy Progress can be slow media is now You can make an immediate difference Recommendations very likely to be implemented Media coverage can motivate immediate action From individuals to policymakers at the highest levels

10 Researcher Benefits position/funding Position yourself as the go to person Once tagged you re it If your data is good, you want it to be used Possibly increase ability to obtain funding Media drives public awareness Policy makers watch TV too!

11 Researcher Benefits Citizenship Be a good citizen For researchers at large For your field For your institution Too often research finds its final resting place on a shelf in the journal section of the library Irresponsible use of taxpayer funds Takes the heart and soul out of research

12 Talking to the Media: From the Researcher s Perspective

13 Creating your SOCOs (single overriding communication objectives) Take your results section and select to 2-3 main talking points Freshen up on background, study definitions, data set used, methods, study limitations, and recommendations If you found a large % increase, how would you explain this? Why are the rates different between boys and girls? *Sometimes our most surprising findings are things that are difficult to explain be prepared to answer these questions.

14 Questions that reporters will ask you What made you do this study? Why were you interested in this topic? What results did you find? What was the most surprising result or study finding? What would you tell parents/coaches/teachers/doctors? What do you recommend? (even if your study didn t evaluate an intervention you need to know about the most current recommendations) AAP, CDC, and NHTSA are great resources for injury prevention recommendations What are the next steps? Next study? Is there anything that you would like to mention that we did not cover? This is your second chance to address your SOCOs!

15 Off the record There is no such thing

16 Press releases (from the researcher s perspective) Work with the person writing the press release and discuss the 2-3 main talking points you want to highlight Have suggestions for your quotes that emphasize these points Double check data presented in the press release with the data in your paper When there are multiple coauthors or multiple institutions decide who needs to have final approval of press release Embargo release date

17 Media training Consider taking some media training (at many institutions this is free) Preparing for TV, Radio, Telephone, Live and Live via satellite interviews (different considerations) Practicing/rehearsing Wardrobe (microphones need to be clipped to something so wear a jacket )

18 Preparing for day of release Your availability on day of embargo release or sometimes the week before or week of System to handle media requests (notebook, electronic file, etc.) trail A way to communicate with your media team Responding to reporters with deadlines

19 Working with the Media From the Communications Team s Perspective

20 Where do I start? Determine who to work with for your media outreach Within your organization (marketing, communications, media team) Someone within your department Someone at another organization (coauthor, partners, funders) Remember, the best partner may vary with the situation.

21 Is it Newsworthy? Examples Breaking News Timely/ related to something else in the news New discovery/findings Unusual finding Does it affect people s lives Seasonal

22 Developing a Media Plan Determine approach Press release, press conference, letter to the editor, op-ed Create timeline Establish embargo date and work backwards Outline tasks

23 Example checklist Publication Checklist: Title of article: Journal: Authors: Embargo date:

24 Press releases (from the communications team perspective) General tips Press releases are for the general population Catchy headline important to attract reporters attention Avoid jargon Write for a non-scientific audience Remember the goal is to help people understand your research and why it is relevant to them Quotes should contain your take-away information

25 Press releases (from the communications team perspective) Tips for working with marketing/communications staff Meet with them before they start writing to make sure you are on the same page Remember in many cases they are not researchers Make sure you agree on important findings and that you are comfortable with the quotes Listen to their opinion on what will make this story interesting to the media

26 Distribution of Media Materials Determining how the media materials will be distributed Who will send out the press release When will it be sent out How will it be sent out Collateral materials Do you have anything else or could you develop pieces that reporters might be interested in?

27 Become a Friend of the Media Make your talking points relatable Keep it simple Be available Follow up on promises Provide additional resources Give story ideas

28 Day of the Embargo Posting the release Alerting staff Preparing interview area

29 Tracking Free resources Google and Yahoo Alerts Your name Your research topic Your organization Social media Twitter mentions YouTube video views

30 Tracking Free resources Dashboard-type resources Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twazzup, Buzzlogic, Socialmention, Brandwatch, addicto-matic

31 Tracking Paid resources Examples Radian6, Vocus, Meltwater Additional services Costs

32 Tracking Media hits Media interviews

33 Reporting For analysis Staff meetings Organization executives Tracking coverage successes

34 Reporting Presentation Brag books Presentations Website

35 Thank You! Please feel free to contact us. Dawn Comstock Lara McKenzie Tracy Mehan

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